2016 May epsucob@NEWS 06
(May 2016) The ADEDY public sector and GSEE private sector trade union confederations organised a 48-hour strike on 6 and 7 May in protest at government proposals to increase a range of indirect taxes and reduce social security benefits. The unions have been calling for the tax increases to be withdrawn, for higher tax-free allowances and for more action to be taken to stop tax avoidance by big companies. The GSEE is also taking action on 8 May as it opposes Sunday opening of shops - another element in the reforms introduced by the government as part of the latest bail-out deal. Read more at
(May 2016) Member of the ver.di union at the Charité hospital group in Berlin have voted overwhelmingly to accept a collective agreement with important provisions on jobs, staff levels and health and safety. A joint committee will monitor implementation of the agreement.The agreement will cover 14000 employees and ver.di hopes it will be a model for the sector where the union is campaigning for legal rules on minimum staffing levels. Read more at > ver.di (DE)
Services union ver.di organised a strike of airport workers on 27 April to support the current negotiations covering 2.14 million employees in federal and local government. The union dismissed the employers' offer of a 0.6% pay rise this year (1.2% in 2017 and 2018) as an insult. Ver.di's claim is for a 6% increase in a 12-month deal, along with an extra EUR 100 for trainees. Read more at ver.di (DE).
(May 2016) The four main unions that organise in the public and private sector waste industry are planning to strike on 30 May. There are many elements to the unions' protest including the need to defend a sector agreement in the industry, to stop cuts in pay and jobs, to ensure public procurement is used to deliver quality services and to improve health and safety. Around 100000 workers are employed in the industry and the unions involved are FP-CGIL, Fit-Cisl, Uiltrasporti and Fiadel. Read more at FP-CGIL (IT)
(May 2016) The three confederations are mobilising for a series of actions over the next few months culminating in a general strike on 7 October, the second anniversary of the centre-right government. The unions are angry about continuing cuts to public services but also to the threat to the 38-hour week. They are calling for more investment in public services and a range of other measures to boost the economy. The first major event will be a joint national demonstration on 24 May in Brussels. Read more at FGTB (FR), ABVV (NL), CSC (FR), ACV (NL), CGSLB (FR), ACLVB (NL)
(May 2016) A new agreement covering the public sector provides a 7.5% pay increase for many workers but also higher increases of 10%-15% for some professions. An important element of the agreement is that it can be extended to private and non-profit organisations who provide services to the public sector. The agreement also includes provisions to ensure more full-time work for part-time workers who want it. Read more at Histadrut
(May 2016) Campaigning and lobbying by trade unions has led to some changes in the Trade Union Bill. For public service unions it is particularly important that proposals to restrict check-off (automatic deducation of trade union contributions) and facility time for trade union representatives have been watered down. Several other anti-union measures have been removed or revised. However, there are still major problems with the draft legislation, particularly, the proposed voting thresholds for strikes in certain public services. Read more at Unison.
(May 2016) Unions representing labour inspectors organised a day of strike action on 2 May in protest at the serious deterioration of working conditions. The unions are calling for the removal of the head of the service and immediate action to tackle issue of bullying and harassment and redeployment and dismissal of workers. The unions also want to see more resources and staff to ensure that the service can effectively tackle workplace issues and tackle precarious work. Read more at SIT (PT)
(May 2016) On 20 April the BDDSz childcare workers' union, one of EPSU's newest affiliates, took strike action along with other unions in the social services sector. After two and a half years of negotiations, the unions decided to resort to industrial action to try to make progress with their claims for an increase in pay and to improve working time arrangements. Average salaries in the social services sector are 35% below the average for the economy as a whole, clearly justifying the 20% pay claim. EPSU sent a message of solidarity. Read more at EPSU and at BDDSz (HU)
(May 2016) Most local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will get pay increases of 1% this year and next year under a new two-year agreement. Lower paid workers will benefit from higher increases ranging from 1.01% to 6.6% in 2016 and from 1.3% to 3.4% in 2017. while the deal was accepted by Unison and the GMB it was rejected by members of the Unite trade union. Read more at Unison and at Unite
(May 2016) Municipal workers' union, Kommunal, has negotiated a new three-year agreement covering the welfare sector that includes a real pay increase for all but a higher pay increase for skilled nurses. This is a key part of the union's strategy to tackle the gender pay gap. In 2016 the basic pay increase will be SEK 520 (EUR 56) while nurses will get SEK 2010 (EUR 110). The agreement also includes provisions to ensure that full-time employment is the norm in the sector. Read more at Kommunal (SV)
(May 2016) Following strike action last month, the SDE Slovenije energy union, has secured an agreement from the government that any planned restructuring of the energy industry would be subject to social dialogue with the union. The union took industrial action in reaction to recent trends where the government had been taking unilateral decisions about the electricity sector while failing to fully honour agreements signed with the union. Read more at SDE (SL)